The Portuguese provisional government avoided a serious crisis on Wednesday (28 April) after the Popular Democratic Party (PPD) agreed t withdraw its threat to resign from the government.
The Portuguese provisional government avoided a serious crisis on Wednesday (28 April) after the Popular Democratic Party (PPD) agreed t withdraw its threat to resign from the government. The PPD was concerned about alleged Socialist Party pans to try and form a minority government after last Sunday's parliamentary elections.
Portuguese Prime Minister, Admiral Jose de Azevedo, persuaded the PPD to withdraw its threat after two Popular Democrat ministers in the provisional government boycotted a cabinet meeting on Wednesday on the orders of their party.
According to Reuters quoting PPD officials in Lisuon, the boycott tactic was aimed to show that a Socialist minority government was not viable before the presidential election next month. According to government officials quoted by Reuters, the move also threatened to collapse the coalition government and endanger Portugal's democratic future. This, said the officials may have led the PPD to reconsider its decision.
However, although the return of the PPD to the cabinet mended the rift in the delicate coalition, the Popular Democrats stated that the move was not a retreat or a climb down..
In the absence of the two PPD ministers, the cabinet discussed several issues including the situation involving Angola. In particular, the government has become increasingly concerned for the plight of the thousands of refugees from Angola now living in Portugal.
With the country's economy still at a low level, and a serious housing problem caused by the refugees in Lisbon, there have been several anti-government demonstrations by the refugees calling for employment and proper homes.
The political situation in Portugal has become increasingly confused since the general election on Sunday 25 April when the Socialists won the largest share of the vote with 35 per cent. However, this was not enough to form a government on their own. The PPD, who came second with 24 per cent of the vote, claimed on Tuesday (27 April) that the Socialists had said they would not include the PPD in any future government they headed.